Faculty and Staff: For Your Benefit

Aetna Insurance Plans Now Cover Lung Cancer Screenings for High-Risk Individuals

Lung cancer screenings are now a covered service under Aetna Health Plans, allowing UM employees and their dependents who are at high risk for lung cancer to take advantage of this new approach for diagnosing the deadliest of all cancers.

Lung cancer does not show any symptoms until its late stage and, as a result, kills more people than breast, cervical, colon, and prostate cancer combined. But here’s the good news: The 2011 National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated that screening high-risk individuals with a series of low-dose CT scans over time can detect the disease in its early stages, allowing treatment to ensue and decreasing mortality by 20 percent.

As a result, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends lung cancer screening, which is not a single test, but a series of tests performed over time, for high-risk individuals. High-risk candidates are:

  • People between 55 and 80 years of age who have smoked 30 or more packs of cigarettes a year
  • Current and former smokers who have quit during the past 15 years

The screenings are 100 percent covered by UM Aetna Health Plans for those who meet the USPSTF criteria. For more information or to make an appointment, contact Marie Charles, the coordinator of the lung cancer screening program, at 305-243-9069 or Mcharles4@med.miami.edu.